Love, Death & Robots: Season 1 recap and review

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The Secret War

Deep in the heart of Siberia, a unit of Red Army soliders battle a hoard of monstrous creatures. The group begins by moving in stealthily on what appears to be a deserted village. On closer inspection, the villagers have all been savagely slaughtered. At least 47 are dead, no survivors.

The decide to track the monsters back to the barrow and destroy them, despite their lack of numbers and support. They eliminate a group of them with minimal casualties and discover the long dead body of the secret police on the nearby ridge.

As they regroup at their camp, the commander examines the diary found with the dead body. He was a Major assigned to a project called Operation Hades which was designed to investigate occultist peasant myths.

The Major was tasked with performing a certain black magic ritual intended to raise an unholy army to fight for them. It raised an army, but instead of being allies, they took out the whole unit and started ravaging the countryside. That is where the monstrous scourge originated.

Through their travels, they encounter a massive burrow. They send in two of their men to plant explosives and while they escape being either eaten or blown up, the burrow is so massive that the ground collapses out from under them as they run away. Suddenly thousands of monsters are exposed and ready to attack.

They decide to take their stand their, buying time so that one of them can get through to tell command their coordinates. The Commander sends the youngest member of their team, despite his protests to stay and die with the unit. He is revealed at the last minute to be the Commander’s son.

They fight as long and as hard as they can, but they are eventually overrun and every last one of them is killed. But the boy made it back to command with their coordinates and the next morning dozens of planes come flying overhead and drop bombs all over the area, taking out the greater part of the unholy hoard.

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This episode is creepy, atmospheric, and unsettling in the same way horror video games can be particularly frightening. It’s a lot like watching an extended cut scene or playing as one of the characters and experiencing the fear, albeit in a superficial way. I find something particularly unsettling about this style of animation. I’m not sure exactly what it is, but it is quite effective.

Stream Love Death and Robots now on Netflix.